A blowout win against Missouri may have been exactly what No. 25 Texas Tech needed to open the second half of Big 12 Conference play.
The Lady Raiders were dominant on defense and owned the glass in a 76-49 rout of the Tigers on Sunday at United Spirit Arena.
“It’s very difficult to do in this league,” Tech coach Kristy Curry said of the drubbing. “We’ve been at our best when we’ve defended at that level. The energy on the defensive end sets the tone for us.”
The first half of Big 12 Conference play is in the books and, as was the case last year, Texas Tech has an uphill climb in store.
The Lady Raiders are 3-6 in league play — the same spot they were in after nine games last season. That team responded by winning five of its last seven games to secure the program’s first NCAA tournament invitation since 2005.
If the 2012 version of the Lady Raiders hopes to do the same, there’s no better time to start than at 1 p.m. today, when No. 25 Texas Tech hosts last place Missouri at United Spirit Arena.
Texas Tech’s 2012 campaign through the Big 12 Conference has followed an all-too-familiar pattern.
The Lady Raiders feasted on a weak non-conference schedule but haven’t been able to beat Big 12 competition. At 3-6, Tech sits in a three-way tie for seventh place, ahead of only last place and winless Missouri.
The No. 25 Lady Raiders, who were ranked as high as No. 10 three weeks ago, have lost six of their last seven games.
Biggest improvement:Shauntal Nobles
End of a rivalry?
Texas A&M coach Gary Blair doesn’t want the Texas Tech-Texas A&M rivalry to end when the Aggies leave for the Southeastern Conference next season.
“It doesn’t have to be the last time,” Blair said after his 18th-ranked Aggies defeated No. 25 Texas Tech 67-55 on Wednesday. “If y’all want to play, we’ll sign a contract tonight. Hopefully when the dust settles, the egos will be put aside and we can keep playing each other.”
Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry said future non-conference meetings with the rival Aggies are unlikely.
Each game of the Big 12 Conference season has been a bit of a mystery for Texas Tech.
Sometimes the No. 25 Lady Raiders look able to beat the best teams in the country — which they almost did two weeks ago in an eight-point loss to No. 1 Baylor.
Yet other times, like Wednesday’s 67-55 loss to No. 18 Texas A&M, Tech seems to lack the toughness necessary to contend with the Big 12’s best.
Texas A&M football fans may be excited about their move to the Southeastern Conference next season, but at least one Aggie is sad to leave the Big 12 behind.
A&M women’s basketball coach Gary Blair, a Texas Tech alumnus, loves the Big 12, loves its coaches and loves Lubbock.